Exploring social issues through gaming
Just over a year after forming their business which explores social issues through video gaming, three women have been named ‘New Radicals’.
Kippie, which was founded in September 2017 by sisters Katherine Rowlandson and Caroline Anderson and their friend Justine Scoltock, explores issues such as LGBT rights, racism and xenophobia through video games.
Manager Katherine said the trio began the business to harness the positive aspects of gaming.
“While many people perceive video gaming as being negative or a waste of time, a few years ago my sister Caroline, my friend Justine and I started thinking about the possibilities of harnessing the positive storytelling power of gaming.
“As well as the technical skills involved, we thought about how game design and the logical step-by-step nature of games - where specific actions have specific consequences - could be used as a tool to help people explore issues and events in their lives, think about possible outcomes and empower people to take informed decisions.”
Following successful trial workshops exploring different exhibitions through digital gaming with young people at Void Gallery in Derry, the group decided to develop their initial idea further.
Katherine contacted The People’s Accelerator Programme and Kippie received support from them, including mentoring and the opportunity to build relationships with other companies.
Katherine said the support from the programme, which is an intiative by Amplify NI, helped in their success.
“The People’s Accelerator Programme was a huge help to us in bringing Kippie to where it is today. The programme really showed us how to pin down and refine the essence of what it was we wanted to do, what our company was about, and what we could offer. It gave us the confidence to build a business around that and not trying to compromise what we do to win grants. The mentors on the programme introduced us to some great people and companies, some of whom we are still working with and building relationships with today.”